Tuesday, July 08, 2014

2014 Eagle Creek Camping Trip Costs Update

My last blog post talked about the cost of our first vacation in two years...the gas cost, for example, was an estimate based on the type of car, its mpg, and distance of the trip. I was petting myself on the back for keeping track of the costs and how our vacation won't cost us as much as our last one did. Hmmmmmm.....well......

Extra Costs/Things I didn't factor in: 

  • A car rental at Enterprise Rent-A-Car: we found out that the camp that we might be going to might have some rough terrain, so we decided to not use our barely-holding-it-together little chevro Aveo car and rent a compact car.
  • Roadside snacks at each gas fill-up on the way to camp
  • An extra trip back down the mountain because my in-law wanted us to make a phone call to his gf (no cell reception and she had no idea where we were) and to get him a few things such as a bow saw (for wood cutting) and ice. That's an hour of driving to the nearest town (Sonora) with good cell reception and an hour to drive back up to camp. This trip cost us an extra gas fill-up than predicted.
  • Birthday gifts to my partner's little sisters at Sonora, Ca.
  • A dinner for two at Marie Callender's restaurant on the way back from camp to home...we were stuck in traffic for nearly 12 hours and because we did not want to unpack the trunk to get at the gas stove and food, we took the stupid route and ate at the restaurant. We should have made some food that we can eat along the road BEFORE leaving the camp.
  • After dinner, we filled up gas at a really really expensive gas station at the last gas stop before going up the Interstate 5 freeway grapevine...We did not plan well and needed to put gas in to drive the little rental car up the high grade. The price of gas per gallon at this gas station is $4.59!!! To fill up the tank, this one stop cost us $51.46! This stop alone is over planned half the gas budget.

Estimated Total Cost of Camping Prior to the Trip: $308.20

1) Food & supplies (grocery shopping prior to trip): $66
2) Gas: $103.2
3) Walmart camping supplies trip: $139 (hopefully these items can be used over and over again in the next few years)

THE REAL COST: $465.64

1) Food & supplies (grocery shopping prior to trip): $66
2) Gas: $36.13 + $51.46 + $16.17 + $28.58 = $132.34
3) Walmart camping supplies trip: $139 (hopefully these items can be used over and over again in the next few years)
4) Car Rental: $87.39 (entire trip)
5) Roadside snacks: $4.24 + $10.12
6) Birthday gifts for two tween girls (love them!): Crafting kit and Toiletry bags-$29
7) Restaurant Meal: $36.25

The Hindsight:

$196.14 is the difference between planned and real costs of the trip. It is quite a lot considering some of the costs could have been prevented.

The girls' gifts could have cost far less if we did not buy them at the last minute. I think they would have preferred something more personal and less costly.

We bought wayyy too much food to feed for just two and brought the majority of it back home.

The car rental...we really didn't need the car rental but i know that by not putting our little car through the trip, it will save us money in the long run.

We definitely did not need to stop at the restaurant when we had food in the trunk.

We definitely did NOT need to have bought all those camping supplies at Walmart prior to the trip because R's family had most of the necessary items like gas stoves, canopies, even toilets, covered. Now, I feel like we need to take more camping trips around our city just to justify buying all those camping gadgets.

Highlights of the Trip:

A forest fire broke out 1/4 mile away from our camp up the hill. We rushed toward the fire to help put it out but the professionals got the situation covered by the time we huffed and puffed up the hill and about 50 feet away from the fire.

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